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        What Is a Mind Map? Free Mind Map Templates & Examples

        • calenderMar 01, 2023
        • calender 5 min read

        Whether you’re writing an essay, creating a presentation, or brainstorming strategies with your team, it’s a challenge to sort ideas effectively. There’s a simple solution to this, used by students and established writers alike: mind maps! A mind map helps you organize your ideas in a systematic manner and reveals clues for you to arrange your material better.

        In this article, we’ll explore what mind mapping is and learn how to make a creative map for your ideas. We’ll also take a look at some mind map examples to show you unique and innovative ways to create a mind map. But before we begin, let’s establish a mind mapping definition.

        What is a mind map?

        A mind map is a visual tool used for brainstorming, problem-solving, and organizing ideas. It is a diagram that starts with a central idea and branches out to related subtopics and details.

        As you lay out different topics and subtopics visually, you can clearly see the connections between them. In this way, mind mapping helps you see the relationships between different ideas and understand complex topics easily. It’s time to throw away those hefty notes and make note-taking a fun activity!

        Let’s see how you can use a mind map in different ways.

        Why use mind maps?

        Is there any advantage to mind mapping beyond the obvious joy of drawing out your thought process? It’s all very well that you avoid working like a grumpy professor, but what beyond this? 

        Here are some benefits of using a mind map:

        • Learning becomes a stimulating process.
        • Difficult topics can be simplified and easy to understand.
        • You can visualize complex points to easily remember and recall dense pieces of information.
        • The freedom to connect ideas without a specific order leads to creative and innovative solutions.
        • You can come up with a hierarchy of points by easily differentiating between primary and secondary topics.
        • The engaging act of making a mind map speeds up brainstorming and improves productivity.
        • Easy collaboration allows an entire team or group to work together on a presentation or project.

        Mind mapping allows you to see connections and relationships between different ideas. The process makes it easier to understand complex topics and make the right decisions. In this way, a mind map enhances your memory, comprehension, and productivity.

        How to make a mind map

        It’s quite easy to create a mind map. All you need is a pen and paper! If you prefer working on a laptop, there are several tools you can use, our mind map template being one of them. Scroll down and you’ll find our template.

        Follow these steps to make a mind map:

        1.  Start with a central idea

        Write down the central idea or topic in the center of a blank page. This can be your essay title, an area of research, or a problem you need to solve. Make sure you leave enough space on all sides to create a spreading map.

        We’ll add a step-by-step mind map example to help you understand the process. Let’s say you had to brainstorm an essay on types of democracy. Your first step will begin at the central point.

        Step one of mind mapping with only the central idea on the page.

        2. Add related ideas

        Think of the most important subtopics or areas of interest and arrange them around the central idea. Connect these to the main topic with lines or arrows to indicate the relationship between the two.

        So for an essay mind map, the first relevant bubble will be the essay introduction, which will further lead to your thesis statement. For now, we’ll show you the second stage of mind mapping in this example:

        Step two of mind maps with the first layer of related ideas.

        3. Create a hierarchy of ideas

        Keep adding more layers until you get a spreading map that starts with your central idea and ends with specific facts, evidence, and examples. As you break down your information into smaller and smaller points, you’ll also need to denote the connections between them.

        If any facts from separate subtopics are connected, draw a dotted line or arrow between them to indicate this. When you open your mind map later, all hierarchies and connections should be instantly clear to you. Come up with a system of arrows and lines to denote various types of connections between points and subpoints.

        Our mind map example will outline this for you:

        Step three of making a mind map with the next later of ideas and information.

        4. Review and refine the map

        If you don’t have a rough essay outline in your mind, you can just focus on getting everything out on the page. After seeing the rough layout, you can decide on the final set of points and remove everything else.

        So, the last step is to review your mind map and refine it until you are satisfied with the outcome. In this stage, you’ll add all the smallest details to your mind map and establish important connections through lines.

        In a mind map for essay writing, the last few points will be the evidence you use to support your arguments. It’s a good idea to mark the page numbers or other citation indicators so you don’t have to go looking for them later.

        Your mind map should look something like the example below:

        Step four of creating a mind map with all topics, subtopics, and ideas laid out on the page.

        5. Add symbols and images to help you remember

        While making mind maps for writing essays, it’s essential to use any techniques that can help you remember information better. A great way to ensure this is to use symbols and images to signify specific things.

        You could develop a system of meanings for different signs. A star can represent important data figures, while a vertical arrow can highlight ascending or descending order. While you can utilize mind mapping tools and software to achieve this, it helps to use symbols that are personal to you. This way, it’s much easier to memorize things!

        Let’s add some symbols to our mind map example and breathe life into it.

        Step five of mind mapping with symbols and images showing connections between different topics.

        If you’d like us to add more mind mapping examples, let us know in the comments below!

        Note: Keep your mind maps clean! Add only the most central points in one or two words rather than writing entire phrases or sentences. Making a cluttered and chaotic mind map serves no purpose. Keep your focus on the bigger picture and what you want to achieve through the mind map.

        If you’re using the mind map for essay writing, you should know how to transfer ideas and information from your map to your essay. Knowing how to write a MEAL paragraph can help! 

        Done brainstorming and writing your essay? Let’s make it perfect

        Free mind map templates

        If you need innovative mind map ideas and templates, we have no shortage of them! Mind mapping for writing differs from mind mapping for a presentation or brainstorming session. Accordingly, mind mapping methods also differ from one another.

        So, we’ve created four blank mind map templates to help you find the format that works best for you. Based on your requirements, you can choose from the mind map templates available below. 

        1. Basic map that radiates outward

        Blank mind map template that radiates outward.

        2. Template to brainstorm a topic

        A mind map template to brainstorm a topic for making a presentation or forming a strategy.

        3. Mind map for writing an essay

        Mind mapping template that shows the various topics and subtopics you need to outline while writing an essay.

        4. Mind map that uses arrows for cause-and-effect

        Mind mapping template to establish a cause and effect relationship between various factors involved.

        If you’ve created a mind map for your assignment and need an editing and proofreading service, we’re here to help.

        Keep reading with more resources from your loyal editors and proofreaders:

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        Prasanna Linkedin

        Prasanna is on a little break from academia and spends his time compiling fiction writing tips. He enjoys poetry, mythology, and drawing lotuses on any surface he can find.

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